Doctors Must Help COPD Patients Quit Smoking

June 3, 2006

Doctors Must Help COPD Patients Quit Smoking – Forbes.com
Despite the risks, more than 36 percent of patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)are still smoking, a new study says.

“It doesn’t look like a good part of the [COPD] population is getting the information it needs from health-care providers,” lead researcher Jeannine Schiller, a statistician with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a prepared statement.

COPD includes chronic lung diseases like emphysema and bronchitis, and affects more than 13.5 million Americans. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and productive cough. The biggest risk factor for COPD is smoking, and it will cause flare-ups and the disease to worsen.

Almost 23 percent of the smokers in the study with COPD said that their doctor did not talk to them about quitting smoking within the last year, or offer them suggestions to help them quit.

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